Sunday, September 22, 2013

Memory Lane + Fish Tacos

One of my favorite memories:

Going to Ensenada with a bunch of friends for my 30th birthday on a cruise.  Getting off the boat, bypassing all the touristy attractions, finding a local person and asking him what he would do if he had one day in his city.

Eat fish tacos, he said, at the fish market.

So that's what we did.  No other foreigners around, just us, in an upstairs room filled with glass Coca-Cola and Fanta bottles, a rickety fan swirling overhead.  The only music was the Mariachi band wandering through the street below and the sounds of families chattering away in Spanish over their lunches in the many open-air restaurants that lined the street.

And those fish tacos, at $2 a person? Delicious, absolutely delicious.

It was a perfect moment.

I can't recreate that moment.  From the food to the company, I could put them all together in the same place, but that moment will probably never happen just like that again.  There is the feeling, you know, that can only happen once.  But I can replicate a part of that memory... they may not be the exact same, but I do make some great fish tacos.

I am pretty sure that whenever I have fish tacos, whether at home or out and about, I will always think back to that day, surrounded by friends and family in a place where simplicity and laughter went hand in hand.

Adapted from Everyday Food, January/February 2005


  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 small red cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound snapper, cut into about 12 strips
  • 8 flour tortillas, soft-taco size**
  • fresh cilantro leaves, to top

  1. In a large bowl, combine sour cream and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Transfer half the mixture to another container; set aside for serving. Toss cabbage and half the scallions with remaining sour-cream mixture. Season again with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil and remaining scallions half over medium-high heat; swirl to coat bottom of pan. Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. In two batches (starting with larger pieces), cook fish until golden brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, warm tortillas according to package instructions.
  4. To make tacos, fill tortillas with slaw, fish, and fresh cilantro leaves. Drizzle with reserved sour-cream mixture. Serve immediately.
 ** Did you know Trader Joe's has these AMAZING, hand-made tortillas, totally fresh and delicious, for a great price?  They really have quite the tortilla selection, all made at local bakeries.  Go check them out!

COST: $14.24      COST PER SERVING (4): $3.56

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